First time Bennetts British Superbike championship race winner Andrew Irwin says he’s ‘living his dream’ after the ‘best weekend of his racing career’ at Thruxton.
The Honda Racing rider took the spoils in today’s opening race at the Hampshire track before backing it up with second in this evening’s shortened eight-lap sprint race.
Irwin’s maiden win came after a hard-fought scrap earlier this afternoon, where he overhauled the McAMS Yamaha of Jason O’Halloran on the penultimate lap and then held off a charging Scott Redding for victory.
The younger Irwin revealed that the win came after finding something extra during this morning’s warm-up session which gave him that extra edge when it mattered.
“We did loads of homework before today and this morning we had a really good run,” he explained. “We probably lacked something until then, but I got in behind Josh and just followed him this morning and learned where I was weaker and how the slipstream would work in the race.
“In the race I just tried to control my tyre because I knew whenever Hicky went towards the front, the pace would increase.”
Proving his race one victory was no fluke, Irwin was back on the box in race two as he crossed the line second behind Be Wiser Ducati’s Brookes.
And although he admitted he was a bit disappointed not to make it a double, he believes this could be the corner he’s been hoping to turn for a while and is keen to carry the momentum into the rest of the season.
“This is the best weekend I’ve ever had racing in my life. You’re always disappointed when you’ve won the first race but I’m delighted with my weekend. We got big points and this was always a round I said I was going to get big points to help us in the showdown.
“It’s definitely the best day of my life. We’ve been improving for a while. When we were at Knockhill we made a big step and at Snetterton I said we needed to close the gap to the leader from Snetterton to Thruxton and we did that.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, my feet are still on the ground. There are going to be some tracks that maybe we won’t be as competitive but we did what we needed to do to close the points in the Showdown.
“I’m enjoying the racing a lot and having the time of my life. I’m living my dream.”